In order to protect the future we must start by protecting young girls. Promoting girls health and educating young women about physical health, mental health and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention is critical to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. If girls stay healthy they will stay in school, marry later, have safer pregnancies later in life, jumpstart their future family and ultimately end generational poverty. The Mariposa girls have weekly health education classes that cover an array of topics from sex education, basic hygiene and sanitation, food preparation, physical education, hand-washing, disease prevention, and more.
At The Mariposa DR Foundation we form partnerships with local community health organizations and international volunteers to ensure that all of the girls visit a doctor and a dentist at least once a year. It is our goal to get them in the habit of maintaining their health by having regular check-ups and dental visits for preventative measures. We also work to provide eye exams and assistance with eyeglasses.
While we do not organize medical missions, we work in close partnership with local NGO’s such as Monkey Jungle to address our girls’ health care needs.
Countless studies have shown that girls who participate in sports have higher self-confidence and do better in school. It is our goal to have all of our girls engage in some form of weekly physical activity, as well as develop the talent of those who are showing promise in or taking a special interest in a particular sport. Outside of The Mariposa DR Foundation there are very few opportunities for girls to engage in organized sports. Cabarete is a prime destination in the world for water-sports and although we live in a beach town most of the children here do not know how to swim! With our very own pool directly on our property all Mariposa girls have the opportunity to learn this critical life skill as well as engage in various sports such as surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis and circus training!
We are very fortunate to have numerous local partners that support our sports programs including:
Chronic sleep deprivation is a serious problem for children living in extreme poverty and their education suffers as a result. We can provide school scholarships, safe transportation, uniforms, books and supplies, but if a child is going home every night to sleep on a rat-infested mattress on a dirty floor with 3 siblings, they are not getting good sleep, inevitably affecting their ability to perform at their best in school. Countless studies show that insufficient sleep has been known to cause disciplinary problems, emotional instability, sleepiness in the classroom and inability to concentrate. We solve this problem for our girls, and their siblings, at The Mariposa DR Foundation by providing their entire families with new, comfortable beds, mattresses, sheets, blankets and pillows. We do this to take away just one more barrier that prevents them from accessing the educational opportunities that they deserve.
Many of the girls attending our programs do not always know where their next meal is going to come from. Children who are hungry or undernourished have difficulty learning, are more likely to become sick, vulnerable to infections, miss school, and fall behind. Nutrition and feeding programs are integrated into nearly every aspect of our programs. Not to mention the fact it provides even more incentive for the girls to show up and to their families to make sure they attend! Nutritious and filling meals and snacks are provided at all Mariposa activities.